Further Permitted Development Amendments and New Business and Planning Bill

June 25, 2020

By Peter Dixon

The Government has:

  • announced measures to allow greater flexibility in the use of open land for events such as outdoor markets during the coronavirus emergency and used the legislative opportunity to also expand permitted development rights to allow construction of up to two additional storeys of residential accommodation above the topmost existing residential storey of a purpose-built, detached block of flats;
  • published a ‘Business and Planning Bill’ including a simplified procedure for modifying construction working hours conditions of existing planning permission together with measures to extend the duration of planning permissions and listed building consents.

Permitted Development

The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 were laid before Parliament on 24 June 2020.

The Regulations contain provisions amending the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 to permit further temporary use of land between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020 in addition to the allowances already contained in Parts 4 and 12 of the  2015 Order (i.e. temporary uses of land for holding a market or for motor car and motorcycle racing; and development by on behalf of a local authority for the purposes of holding a market).  The provisions come into force on 25 June 2020.

The Regulations also amend the 2015 Order by inserting a new Part 20 into Schedule 2 to permit:

“development consisting of works for the construction of up to two additional storeys of new dwellinghouses immediately above the existing topmost residential storey on a building which is a purpose-built, detached block of flats” together with certain necessary ancillary development.

A number of conditions and limitations apply and before development is carried out an application must be made to the local planning authority for prior approval of certain matters.  For example, among other things development is not permitted where the new dwellinghouses would not themselves be flats, where the ‘host’ building is less than 3 storeys in height above ground level, where the floor to ceiling height of any additional storey is more than 3 metres in height, where the overall height of the extended building would be more than 7 metres higher than the highest part of the existing roof and where the extended building would be greater than 30 metres in height.  Among the matters subject to prior approval are the external appearance of the building, the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of the new dwellinghouses and impact on the amenity of the existing building and neighbouring premises. The new provisions come into force on 1 August 2020.

Business and Planning Bill

The Business and Planning Bill was published today.  It is in four parts covering a range of matters including pavement and alcohol licences for the consumption of food and drink outdoors; the removal of certain powers from the court in relation to the ‘bounce back loans scheme’ and measures relating to goods, passenger and public service vehicle licensing; and planning.

The planning provisions:

  • introduce a simplified application procedure to secure modifications to planning conditions (or schemes approved pursuant to planning conditions) limiting construction working hours from a date specified in the application to a date no later than 1 April 2021;
  • include a suite of measures to extend the duration of planning permissions or the period allowed for the submission of details of the reserved matters either automatically (where the relevant date would occur after the coming into force of the new legislation but before 31 December 2020) or on an application for “an additional environmental approval” (in the case of planning permissions lapsing between 23 March 2020 and the legislation coming into force);
  • make similar provisions in relation to listed building consents;
  • allow wider discretion in the choice of procedure for planning and related appeals;
  • permitting inspection of the Mayor of London’s ‘spatial development strategy’ by electronic means.